Trump, Brexit, Le Pen—There are a lot of mad people out there





There’s a palpable sense of frustration, anger and fear in the air all around the world today. In the USA it expresses itself through Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. England shocked the world with its Brexit.

In France, the far-right party of Marine LePen serves as a megaphone for those who are fed up with the status quo.

These feelings always exist but it seems that they are boiling rather than simmering now.

When people get mad good things can happen. In the United States MADD (“Mothers Against Drunk Driving”) was born from the anger of Candy Lightner who lost her thirteen-year old daughter when she was struck by a car piloted by a drunk driver.

MADD claims that deaths caused by drunk drivers have plummeted by 50% in the USA since its founding.

That’s good.

In Germany in the early 1930s, though, people were fed up with economic suffering and shame heaped on them from losing the First World War.  Nazis, communists and others offered solutions for angry people—and paved the way for Adolph Hitler’s rise to power.

The moral of the story is to make sure your anger leads to something better … if you can.

I don’t know how all this is going to play out, though the rage and venom from sides of the political spectrum shocks me. Media—right, left and center–constantly stirs the pot and has given non-partisan journalism a black eye.

Today’s “news” often tells you more about the political bent of the journalist than it does about what has happened.

I Hope …

Here are two things I hope fervently: I hope each of us remembers that we don’t know everything. If we win, let’s remember that we’re sharing this country with others who also love it. Let’s try to understand why others are mad.

Getting 50.001 percent of the vote doesn’t make us right. It just makes us the winner of the election. Sure, that 49.999 percent of the electorate that voted for the loser has some doofuses (That’s the plural of doofus. I hesitated between doofuses and doofi).

But, they also bring another way of looking at things and challenge us to think beyond our limited experience.

Respect the other person, even if you don’t agree with him. Honestly, it’s hard to take my own advice when I watch adults act like two-year olds. These people are going to lead the free world? Help us Lord.

I Hope For the Church

What I hope for the Church is this: That we stop acting as if everything in history depends on Hillary or Donald. Neither one of them has nail scars in their hands.

Where men live together they must decide the rules of how they live together and who will be the leaders in these associations.

It doesn’t work without rules and authority.

Christians can/must be involved in our democratic societies. We need Christian truck drivers, Christian bankers, Christian secretaries, Christian doctors, and Christian politicians.

And no, this last isn’t an oxymoron.

Our problem comes when we think our main recourse is temporal power–politics.

There is a Power who reigns over all and He is the One who decides and disposes. My gripe is that we get so passionate about politics and so tepid about prayer, so red-faced about Republicans and Democrats and so “ho-hum” about a man’s eternal destiny.

Sometimes I think we are like mad bulls reacting to the bullfighter’s red cape. And the “bullfighter” shakes his cape often, simply to antagonize us and see us charge and accomplish … not much.

Our most powerful message is Jesus and the life change He brings. Continue reading

Instructions for the Election

Am I the only one who will be glad when this election is over? When a woman has a baby she goes to the delivery room and has it.

This election has been in the delivery room for two or three years, now. I’m usually a political junkie, but I’ve had a big overdose. Even here in France, the media talks about the American election on nearly every front page of the major papers as well as in newscasts.

What will the papers have to write about afterwards? The talking heads on television will blabber on about nuclear arms, war, hunger, poverty, etc. but no one will pay any attention. What is all that compared to a presidential election?

And for a short while, the president-elect will enjoy a honeymoon. Whether it’s McCain or Obama, his supporters will proclaim the beginning of a new age.

“Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.” “Look, up in the sky!” “It’s a bird.” “No, it’s a plane!” “It’s SuperMcCain—or SuperObama!” (I’m not sure which yet.) “SuperObama/McCain, who can change the course of mighty rivers. Bend steel in his bare hands. And who, disguised as Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper, fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice and the American way.” (With apologies to, “The Adventures of Superman,” season one, 1951).

And the losing side will mope and long for 2012. Not too long after the new president’s inauguration, even his supporters will begin to see some faults and the longer he’s in office the more the vultures will circle. Superman becomes Bugs Bunny after a few years and everyone waits for a new guy to come.

Politics is really fun.

The day after the 1992 election, I asked an older friend, “What did you think about the election?” His reply? “I don’t think it’s terminal.” He’s right. We’ve survived some presidents who were doozys in the 219 years of our constitutional government.

So, I’ve got an amazing prediction to make. Hold on now, I’m not going to tell you how to vote, nor prophesy who will be elected. But … here it comes … whoever is elected—GOD WILL STILL BE GOD!

My Fate In His Hands

My fate is not in Obama’s hands nor in McCain’s hands. I’m serving the King of kings and Lord of lords –the President of presidents, the Prime Minister of prime ministers! If you’re worried about the Church, don’t. The Church is going to make it. Often it has flourished under harsh leaders and lagged when it was praised and favored.

Peter told the Christians during the time that mad Nero was emperor–the emperor that probably instigated his murder, by the way:

“Make the Master proud of you by being good citizens. Respect the authorities, whatever their level; they are God’s emissaries for keeping order. It is God’s will that by doing good, you might cure the ignorance of the fools who think you’re a danger to society. Exercise your freedom by serving God, not by breaking the rules. Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government.’’ (1 Pet. 2 :13-17, The Message)

For sure, that doesn’t include sinning against God to obey the government, but otherwise it’s pretty inclusive.

I don’t know who the new president will be. We should all vote our conscience. It’s easy to criticize but we need to be a part of the process. Whoever is elected, though, I have a duty before God and if I don’t fulfill that duty, I’m sinning against the Lord.

My duty is to pray for my leaders and give them respect. I respect the office even if I can’t respect the person. And if I feel the person is a bad choice I need to pray for him even more!

“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time.” (1 Timothy 2:1-6, NIV)

Do you see how he joins praying for our authorities and the desire for all men to be saved in this passage? Maybe there is a connection.

Whoever is elected, pray for him. Respect the office of President. In doing so you obey the Lord.

“Praying for protection is fine. I pray a hedge of protection around my three children all the time. But when was the last time you asked God to make you dangerous?” Mark Batterson